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Russian billionaire appeals divorce ruling

Malcolm Curtis · 20 May 2014, 10:00

Published: 20 May 2014 10:00 GMT+02:00

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On Monday night, Rybolovlev’s lawyer, Tetiana Bersheda, issued a statement stating that an appeal of the ruling was being filed in Switzerland.

As a result, the financial award to Elena Rybolovlev, which would be the highest divorce settlement in history, is “not definitive”, Bersheda said.

She noted that part of the billionaire’s fortune was transferred into trusts outside Switzerland before his wife could launch legal proceedings in Geneva.

“The real stakes of this dispute are abroad and not in Switzerland,” Bersheda said.

Dmitry Rybolovlev, 47, a medical doctor by training, made his fortune in potash and is currently the owner of French football club AS Monaco.

He was married to Elena, a Geneva resident, for 23 years after the pair met in medical school, and they have two daughters.

Divorce proceedings had been under way for six years.

The couple moved to Geneva in 1995, according to 20 Minutes.

The newspaper said they bought an extensive property in the upscale municipality of Cologny with the goal of erecting a building to imitate “le Petit Trianon”, a chateau at Versailles built for Louis XV.

However, the grandiose plan, budgeted at 100 million francs, never got off the ground, leaving an “enormous hole” in the ground, 20 Minutes said.

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The hole has been there since the couple separated six years ago.

Elena Rybolovlev’s lawyer, Marc Bonnant, said his client wanted to build the mansion and would proceed immediately if her former husband did not appeal the divorce settlement, 20 Minutes said.

The dispute over the Cologny property is complicated by the fact that Dmitry Rybolovlev, who now lives in Monaco, transferred the deeds to his eldest daughter Ekaterina, 25, the newspaper said.

Malcolm Curtis (news@thelocal.ch)

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